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Portuguese haulier strike eases as two unions reach agreements

Barcelona — The impact of a strike by road hauliers in Portugal has eased as two of the main unions protesting reached agreements to end the industrial action, leaving just one union on strike, according to local press reports.

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The Sindicato Independente dos Motoristas de Mercadorias (SIMM) union on Thursday night agreed to call off its strike after reaching an agreement with the National Association of Road Transport (Antram) for more talks in September, national public news service RTP reported, citing SIMM spokesman Anacleto Rodrigues and Antram spokesman Andre Matias de Almeida.

SIMM and Antram were not available to comment Friday.

This followed the Sindicato dos Trabalhadores de Transportes Rodoviarios e Urbanos do Norte withdrawing from the strike earlier in the week, leaving only the Sindicato Nacional de Motoristas de Materias Perigosas (SNMMP) on strike, the report said.

The indefinite strike started Monday and is related to salary negotiations with Antram beyond 2020.

The Portuguese government declared a state of energy emergency at the end of last week for the duration of the strike, initially expected to last until August 21, and decreed minimum service levels of between 50% and 100% must be met. It also set up a network of strategic fueling points which have been rationing fuel to citizens.

These service levels were being met, a report by the National Energy Sector Authority (ENSE) said Thursday, aided by the deployment of 54 members of the armed forces, and it maintained a level of amber alert.

A previous strike in April caused filling stations to run out of fuel and depleted jet fuel stocks at airports.

--Gianluca Baratti,

--Edited by James Burgess,